Injury hit Newport went to Bedwas with many expecting the worst. They had 3 wings - Frewen, Broad and Hewitt on the injury list so had to play scrum-half Andrew Quick on the left and bring in Trevor James on permit from Pontypool to the bench. They also had captain and No 8 Lee Beach sidelined with injury and Craig Attwell took over the captaincy . Having lost to Bedwas at Rodney Parade a fortnight ago, many were not looking forward to the trip to neighbours Bedwas. Having been all but written off the visitors produced an excellent performance full of character and when Adam Brown was carded on 58 mins heads did not drop and the team tackled magnificently. The delight when the referee blew for time was there for all to see and players, coaches and staff were delighted. It was certainly a nice Christmas present for coaches Sven Cronk and Dai Gray and Newport were full value for their win and so ended a losing steak of 5 matches against Bedwas.
Newport, playing up the slope against the wind, took an early lead with a penalty from the reliable Geraint O’Driscoll and on 23 mins increased this to a 6-0 lead. In between Leading Premier scorer Richard Powell pulled two kicks at goal left but on 31 mins after a rare sortie by Bedwas into the Newport 22 he slipped over under the posts with the visitor’s defence in disarray. Powell’s conversion and a penalty in stoppage time gave the home side a 10-6 lead.
Within 2 mins of the restart after HT a nicely worked try saw hard working prop Alex Jeffries get his first try for the B&A’s in the corner. O’Driscoll’s kick rebounded from the left upright but Newport led1 1-10. On 51 mins and 57 mins O’Driscoll added penalties – he had also passed 100 pts for the season – and Newport deservedly led 17-10 but drama was to follow with lock Adam Brown getting a YC a minute later but it was then that Newport really showed character and incredibly held out with some tremendous tackling and having to pack down a man light in the scrums.
On the 5th min of stoppage time referee Craig Evans blew for time and the delight of the players, coaches and staff was there to see. A thoroughly deserved win and against the odds but that is what Newport can and sometimes do.
Scoring Sequence : 8: Geraint O'Driscoll has kicked the penalty goal, 10: Richard Powell has missed the penalty, , 18: Richard Powell has missed the penalty, the ball went to the left of the posts, 22: Geraint O'Driscoll has kicked the penalty goal, 30: Richard Powell has scored a try, 30: Richard Powell has kicked the conversion, 40: Richard Powell has kicked the penalty goal43: Alex Jeffries has scored a try, 44: Geraint O'Driscoll has missed the conversion, the ball came back off the posts, 52: Geraint O'Driscoll has kicked the penalty goal, 58: Geraint O'Driscoll has kicked the penalty goal.
Photos courtesy of Simon Latham:
Newport MOM : Ollie Griffiths